Innovation has always lingered within and around the growth of Islam. This innovation has created minor and major deviations from the straight path. One of those is the Quranists. According to Salih, “These new groups are currently neither well organized nor influential and probably will never be, but their rising number is significant because it reflects the deepening cracks in the Islamic structure.” (Salih, pg 1). Quranism is the dire belief that The Holy Quran is the only source of Sharia along with Islamic guidance and reject all a-Hadith and Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). The rejection of a-Hadith comes from the idea that it was not revelation from Allah rather gathered by men after the religion of Islam was completed in accordance to The Holy Quran. Just as the idea that The Holy Bible was not a revelation of The Almighty but also compiled by man. These groups inhabit different parts of the globe and they call themselves by a variety of names to include one founded in Pakistan known as The Ahle-Qur’an founded by Abdullah Chakralawi. He created a movement that depended and relied strictly on the verses of The Holy Quran. This type of movement could be labeled as a precursor to Islamic Modernism. There are practical questions and concerns regarding their methodology in reference to the how of practicing Islam as meant by The Holy Quran. They do not see or believe the importance of the a-Hadith or Sunnah is to understanding The Holy Quran in its entirety. Through ‘common sense’, a refutation of these beliefs will be explored further.
As stated, Quranism is a movement that teaches that The Holy Quran needs no explanation and it is understood that in many cases throughout The Holy Book, no explanation is required. These cases include but are not limited to the historical events of the prophets, the wisdom of the Sharia, and in the bounty of Allah toward its people. The Quranists lean toward these type of cases to deviate their followers and reiterate their rejection of the a-Hadith and Sunnah. They quote verses as this to reaffirm their stance, as stated in The Holy Quran such as, “And We have certainly made the Quran easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember?” (54:22). But they fail to understand and take note of other verses that do state that they should follow the Sunnah, such as, “…Already Allah knows those of you who slip away, concealed by others. So let those beware who dissent from his order, lest finah strike them or a painful punishment” (24:63). These rejectors go as far as to compare the a-Hadith to the books of the Bible in order to make their argument truth. They state that the Holy Bible was a compilation of books gathered after the ascension of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) into paradise and thus could not be considered revelation from God rather based on the memory and opinions of men. They state the same for the a-Hadith and claim “… After Muhammad’s death, revelation stopped of course, and thus, all things, negative and positive, said and done by others within religious issues, topics, and matters are not part of Islam but pertains to ”Muslims” who voiced or written such views.” (Mansour, pg 7).
Out of this seed of doubt, a number of a-Hadith rejector movements were established. One of these groups called The Ahle-Qur’an, the people of the Quran, founded in Lahore, Pakistan by Chakralawi who does believe in the obedience of Allah and His Messenger, yet he made differentiation between Allah and the collectors of a-Hadith. This is all based on the mode of delivery to Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessings be upon him) which was through revelation from Allah. So, Chakralawi teaches that a-Hadith was not authentic and reiterates it was not revelation rather collected and compiled by men many years after the death of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). By denying the Sunnah and a-Hadith, it appears that a great portion of Islam is also denied. He goes on to question the translations of the a-Hadiths over the centuries stating that so much valuable information could be lost during translation and that it could be easily had been fabricated. By holding the Sunnah and a-Hadith at the same status of The Holy Quran, The Holy Quran becomes nonexclusive and common causing it to be weakened as believed by Chakralai and his followers. “During the colonial period, when most of the Muslim world came under the subjugation of the West…who began questioning the authenticity and relevance of hadith. It was not that some genius had found flaws in the hadith study that had eluded the entire Ummah for thirteen centuries. It was simply that the pressures from the dominant Western civilization to conform were too strong for them to withstand.” (http://www.themodernreligion.com). These followers tended to be western-educated Muslims, they were controlled by the temptations of western society and culture, and had difficulty in conforming to the teachings and lifestyle ordered by Allah. They preferred to change Islam so suit their wants and desires of the dunya rather than adhere to making sure they maintained their Islam in order to experience the glory of Paradise in the Hereafter.
There are many examples that can refute the fact that Quran and Sunnah have to be inter-twined and one cannot soley exist without the other. “Although the Quran is Islam’s holy book, but the bulk of the religion is made of Sunna.”(Salih, pg 2) . Salah was ordained to be prayed five times a day in The Holy Quran yet it did not state the how and when of Salah. Interestingly enough, how and when do the a-Hadith rejectors pray if they do not follow the Sunnah? It also brings to question their act of preforming Hajj, giving Zakah, Islamic dress, eating with the right hand, recognition of al-Miraj, and fasting to name a few more rites that require further explanation.
This brings to light the confirmation that these type of movements are innovations in regards to a-Hadith and Sunnah and its importance in the daily lives of the practicing Muslim. In order to worship Allah completely and gain the overall satisfaction of this reverence, Muslims must strive to practice Islam as it was ordained and to seek in immulating the character of our Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him). The only way to do so is through the Sunnah and a-Hadith by way of The Holy Quran. The importance of the a-Hadith and Sunnah is generally a code of conduct whether it begin with the individual ,at the family unit, or within the mesh of society to include the practice of Sharia. It dictates the overall behavior of the everyday life of the devoted Muslim to include but not limited to conversation, dealing with society and performing any and all physical, emotional, and mental needs. The a-Hadith and Sunnah gives the Islamic nation the hows and whys and is an extension of The Holy Quran.
So, in conjunction with The Holy Quran, the a-Hadith and Sunnah, every believer has the opportunity to function spiritually, emotionally, and physically as Allah as ordained towards their end goal of entering Paradise and be therein eternally. The righteous Muslim learns the details regarding the 5 pillars of Islam, the sayings recommended when doing, seeing, hearing, or anything that is done for a personal purpose, to name a few. These details include interactions with our families, society, and all creation of Allah as well. So, how do the a-Hadith rejectors justify the hows of following The Holy Quran? It seems they are escorted so obediently into the Hell-fire without the intelligence to question the actions of their leaders. The a-Hadith rejectors convince their following that the a-Hadith are man-made and should not be followed based on it not being revelation from Allah. With this, these groups are able to interpret The Holy Quran according to fit their own desires. These innovated groups have emerged throughout the globe, are deviated, and are labeled as Quranists. May Allah keep all believers on the straight path.
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